Palo Alto Online Sports
There's not much else the Stanford women's basketball senior class needed to accomplish to take its rightful place in Cardinal lore.
Winning a national championship was the final frontier, and now that's no longer an option.
Texas A&M upset its second straight top-seeded team in the NCAA tournament and is heading to its first national championship game.
The Aggies (32-5) rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final six minutes Saturday, winning it when Tyra White drove the length of the court to give Texas A&M the go-ahead layup and a 63-62 victory over second-ranked Stanford.
The Aggies will face Notre Dame in Tuesday night's title game. The Irish beat Connecticut, 72-63, in the late semifinal.
White finished with 18 points, and All-American Danielle Adams scored 16 for the Aggies.
Stanford (33-3) got 31 points from Nnemkadi Ogwumike and 11 from Jeanette Pohlen but blew the late lead and went home empty-handed from the Final Four for the fourth consecutive year.
"I thought we played very well to get the lead," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We had to do some things that we don't have to do all season long against anyone else."
The Cardinal, which had its 27-game winning streak snapped, was the first team in this year's NCAA tournament to score more than 50 points against Texas A&M. That's little consolation though.
Stanford will be back. Players like Ogwumike, her sister Chiney Ogwumike, Lindy La Rocque, Michaela Ruef and Sarah Boothe will most certainly allow the Cardinal to remain a national title contender.
For the moment, the future remains cloudy. Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen, with Hannah Donaghe and Ashley Cimino, played with all the heart, guts, blood and character for which any coach would appreciate.
"It's hard," said Pedersen, who had 10 rebounds to finish her career with 1,266 -- surpassing Jayne Appel's all-time school and Pac-10 career record. "I mean, it's an awful feeling. The hardest part isn't losing the game, it's leaving these players."
They join others like Appel, Candice Wiggins and Nicole Powell as among the school's best and who never tasted victory in the final game of the season.
A&M trailed, 54-44, with 6:01 left to go. Danielle Adams started an 8-0 run with two free throws and Sydney Colson gave Texas A&M a 59-58 lead by making two free throws with 53 seconds left.
Eighteen seconds later, Ogwumike made two foul shots to give Stanford a 60-59 lead.
A&M came back with Tyra's White's layup with 19 seconds to go, only to have Ogwumike answer with a tough layup with 9 seconds left that gave Stanford a 62-61 lead.
The Aggies, without a timeout, immediately got the ball to Colson, who raced up the floor and dished to the cutting White for the winner.
"It's time to make history," Colson said. "Forget that you're tired and just push through it and I think it's exactly what we did."